If your practice has too few staff members, patient care may suffer and collections may slow down. If you have too many, you’ll face rising operational costs. Is there an optimal level that will allow you to operate your practice efficiently without letting your costs get out of control and creating dissatisfaction among patients?
Start by using medical industry benchmarks for comparison. Various organizations collect a wide variety of data on staffing levels. You’ll want to compare apples to apples, so it’s important that you use data from practices similar to yours in terms of practice area(s), size, annual revenues, and the number of physicians employed. It’s also important to follow the same methods used in the survey when determining your practice’s numbers for comparison.
Look at These Key Benchmarks
Two benchmarks you should look at are the average number of support staff per full-time-equivalent (FTE) physician and the percentage of gross practice revenue used for support staff salaries. The first benchmark is the number of full-time staff (not including mid-level providers) required to support one full-time physician. The percentage of gross revenue is total staff salary expense divided by gross revenue over the same period.
Be Ready To Adjust
If your physicians see more or fewer patients daily than the average patient load, you’ll likely want to compensate for that difference when you compare your practice with benchmarks. Looking at the number of patient visits per year or week or the gross charges per physician can help you gauge your support staff to FTE physician ratio. Similarly, your practice may require more support staff than a benchmark indicates if your ratio of mid-level providers to physicians is higher than a benchmark survey suggests. By the same token, your need for support staff may be lower if you have no mid-level providers.
Start by using medical industry benchmarks for comparison.
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